Friday, October 22, 2010

My Friend Melanie - Interview & Giveaway

Today I'm thrilled to welcome my friend Melanie Dickerson to my blog. Melanie and I are both members of the most wonderful historical writers group ever, HisWriters, whose focus is on European-set historicals. Melanie's here to talk about her debut novel, The Healer's Apprentice, which is the book of the month at the ACFW book club and being discussed RIGHT NOW!! Fun stuff!

I reviewed this book a while back, so it may sound familiar to y'all. Well, Melanie has offered a signed copy to one lucky reader, so as always, leave your comment below with an email address. And be sure to click "Follow" if you haven't already!

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About The Healer's Apprentice

When destiny sleeps, it can only be awakened by true love’s kiss.

In this historical romance loosely based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, a woodcutter's daughter becomes the town healer's apprentice. Rose's job is to care for the sick and injured in Hagenheim Castle. But she gets sick at the sight of blood and is more suited to making up stories than sewing up wounds. She is determined to overcome her weakness and prove herself a competent healer, or she faces marrying a disgusting old merchant her mother has picked out for her.

Lord Hamlin, the future ruler of the region, is injured and Rose must overcome her squeamishness to save him. He is everything that is noble and good, but loving him is forbidden. He is already betrothed to a mysterious woman in hiding.

With two noble-born brothers vying for her affections, Rose learns that the people of Hagenheim are not always who they seem.

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About Melanie

Melanie Dickerson earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.

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What's your latest book?

The Healer’s Apprentice is my debut novel, published by Zondervan and released Sept. 14, 2010.

And it is sooooo awesome! I'm really excited to be talking about it at the ACFW book club this month! What do you hope your readers will get out of the story?

I think the main thing I tried to get across is that God has a plan for you, and it’s better than the plan you have for yourself, so don’t twist yourself into a pretzel trying to force your own plan to work out. Leave room for God to work out his perfect plan for your life.

Trust God. God says he delights in those who put their hope in his unfailing love. What an awesome God, that he wants us to put our hope in his love, and that he actually delights in us when we do.

I also want readers to understand that a guy who isn’t committed to God, and isn’t willing to commit to them, is not a safe person to fall in love with. They need to hold out for a Godly man!

I love the way you bring God's ultimate will to light in this book. Very awesome. Is there a theme to this book?

Loyalty and determination are two themes that run through the story. Also, taking responsibility for your own feelings and actions, and doing what honors God instead of just going after your own selfish interests.


Yes, I definitely took that away from it. It's not often you come across a book about responsibility, but this one was just beautiful in it. What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

My favorite genre to read and to write is historical romance. I read other genres, but not very often!

With you there. =) As you well know.  Is there any one thing or reference you keep handy when writing? Anything you kept around for this particular book?

I did a lot of research on the internet for this book. I keep my subscription to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary current so I can regularly check on words that were used in the middle ages. I try to avoid using words or objects that were not in use in the 14thcentury, although it’s virtually impossible to completely eliminate them all. But it was helpful to check on the origin of words. And it’s just plain fun. Let’s face it. I’m a word geek.

Oh, we have so much in common!! What lessons have you learned through the publication process that you wouldn't have guessed as a pre-published writer?

There are many stresses and problems that come along with getting published. I was told that ahead of time, but I didn’t really know how things would be until I experienced it for myself. I had so many questions, but the people with the answers had jobs to do and I often didn’t even know who to ask. And there was so much marketing I wanted to do, and only so many hours in the day! Many problems and anxieties cropped up that I hadn’t anticipated. It’s been a whirlwind! But at the same time, I wouldn’t trade this wild ride for anything.

Crazy, isn't it? Aside from writing, what takes up most of your time?

Marketing stuff, definitely. I try to do my part to get the word out about my book, but I never realized how all-consuming it could become. And the fact that the experts say the first three months after a book is released are the most critical, well, that just makes me put more pressure on myself! But I am trying to get back into the book I was writing a few months ago, before things got so crazy.

Do you remember where you were when you got The Call about your book being contracted?

I was taking a nap in my bedroom on Veterans’ Day, 2009, and my husband and kids were at the Veterans’ Day parade. I had been praying, just before I fell asleep, that God would make Zondervan love my book and that they would publish it. (I knew the editor was taking the book to the publishing board some time that month but I didn’t know when.) And I prayed that if Zondervan decided not to publish it, that God would help me not get too depressed. So when my agent called and woke me up, I was in shock. It took a while for it to sink in.

LOL. Think it was a dream? =) Any upcoming releases we should keep our eye out for?

I am hoping Zondervan is going to publish my second YA medieval fairy tale retelling, a Beauty and the Beast story that is on my editor’s desk right now. They were really fast getting The Healer’s Apprentice out, so it might not be that long before you’ll see the next one! I hope!

~*~

Thanks for visiting, Melanie! I'm praying Zondervan buys that next book too, because this one was truly a delight. Readers, you can check out her website at www.melaniedickerson.com
and find her books at Amazon, ChristianBook, and CrossPurposes.

Void where prohibited. Entry into the contest is considered verification of eligibility based on your local laws. Chance of winning depends on number of entries. Contest ends 10/28/10. Winner will have two weeks to claim prize. 

39 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me on your blog, Roseanna!!!

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  2. Please enter me! I have really been wanting to read this! Thanks so much!


    God bless!

    ~Katie G.

    katiegalyean (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  3. I didn't even know you had a contest going on. Would love to win this book. dianalflowers@aol.com

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  4. I also forgot to mention that I love the cover of this book. Definite eye-catcher! I won Rita Gerlich's book Surrender the Wind in a book contest and she said she had your book to read amongst others. I also mentioned it to Laura Frantz and she said she was planning on reading it as well. So we are all excited about it! If I don't win it it will be on my list to Santa. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  5. Forgot to leave email for above comment...do it all the time not on purpose. dianalflowers@aol.com

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  6. Thank you for entering me! I've been wanting to read this one!

    Michelle
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

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  7. Please enter me. I've been wanting to read this for quite a while.

    julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I've been hearing so many good things about this book and would like to enter this giveaway.

    nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

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  9. count me in for this giveaway...def a book i'd like to read.

    sheree
    neednspace at aol dot com
    booknroll.blogspot.com

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  10. I would love to win this book!! dianalflowers@aol.com

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  11. Thanks for the wonderful interview and giveaway! I would love to read this book!

    showcasesisters at gmail dot com

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  12. I'm glad to see you here. My pile of books is so high right now, but Christmas is coming if I don't win your drawing. Debut books are fun. Congratulations, and looking forward to the discussion. lisalickel-at-gmail-dot-com

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  13. I've been wanting to read this book..please include me.

    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  14. I've been wanting to read this book!! :) Thanks for the chance to win. purposedrivenlife4you at gmail dot com

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  15. I enjoyed reading about the author and her book, The Healer's Apprentice. I would love to read it. Please know Carman sent me.

    teakettle58(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  16. Sounds like a good story.
    Please enter me in the giveaway.

    A J Hawke
    ajhawkeauthor at aol dot com

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  17. Wow! I am so glad this is available for giveaway. I saw it a long time ago and haven't had a chance to read it yet. I was drawn to this book because, first the cover is beautiful. After I read what it was all about, however, I wanted to read the book for the sake of a GREAT story!
    Thank you. I am a follower.
    April
    apeygirl at gmail dot com

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  18. Please enter me in the giveaway.
    cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

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  19. This book looks amazing! Seriously. I love reading different versions of fairy tales. I'm super excited to get my hands on this! Please enter me to win. Thank you :)
    randomness.is.awesome@gmail.com

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  20. This book sounds really good. Would love to read it.Thanks for giving away a copy.
    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  21. I've seen this book all over the place! I've been trying to enter different giveaways just to win it. Great cover! It's definitely an eye-catcher =)

    Please enter me:
    gracethorson at gmail dot com

    *Thanks*

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  22. I follow. Thanks for the chance to win.
    bkhabel at gmail dot com

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  23. I love this time period for books! I'm a follower and my email addy is deanawat@comcast.net
    My blog is deanawat.blogspot.com.

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  24. Just won Julie Lessman's new book A Hope Undaunted so I thought while I was on a roll I would enter another book contest...you never know! I would love to win this book as well!! dianalflowers@aol.com

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  25. Diana is making me laugh!!! Either she is not realizing she already entered this drawing a FEW times, or she is trying to increase her odds! LOL!

    Guys, if you don't win the book and can't afford to buy it (or don't have a wealthy Santa in your life) just request it from your local library. They will usually order it if you request it.

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  26. This book sounds so good. Please include me in the giveaway. gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

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  27. Oh wow, "ditto" so many of those comments . . . I also fell in love with the book cover when I first saw it. The Medieval Era (or at least, as it is portrayed in fiction) is my favorite time period. =) I've also been "dying" to read this book . . . thought I might try to win a copy first, but if not, I'm so putting this on my Christmas list. =)

    jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

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  28. Would love to read this!

    We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2010/10/healers-apprentice.html

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

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  29. As a student facing choices about school and my future, I totally needed that reminder that God always has a plan . . . Thank you for the awesome interview! Thanks for the chance to win this amazing-sounding book!

    kristia4(at)hawaii(dot)edu

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  30. Great giveaway! I'd love to be entered.

    Please count me in. Thanks.

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  31. This sounds great. I would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!
    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. Don't sign me up to win, just wanted to say I'm in the middle of this book and whoever wins has a good read to look forward to!

    Deborah M.

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  34. Sorry,Melanie...guess I got carried away! But you should be flattered! dianalflowers@aol.com

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  35. I enjoy reading historical stories. Please enter me.

    rhondastruthers at yahoodot ca

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  36. This book looks great. I would love to win a copy.
    wmmahaney(at)att(dot)net

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  37. Just a quick question...and yes it's me again...haha. I know contest is over; I was just at the Christian store in my town yesterday and wondered why The Healer's Apprentice is in the teen section? I almost didn't see it there. dianalflowers@aol.com

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  38. Well, Diana, it's technically being marketed as a Young Adult novel (competing well as it does with the current mainstream YA books), but it's totally appropriate for either teens or adults. I adored it and am buying it for my 13-year-ole niece for Christmas too. =)

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